Short term university study options

There are two options for undertaking a period of study at an Australian or New Zealand university as part of a UK degree. These options are usually for one semester but may be extended for up to a year with your UK university’s permission. Students would generally participate in one of the options below during their second year at university.


Exchange programmes are run through bi-lateral agreements between UK institutions and worldwide partner universities. In order to be able to participate in an exchange you must first check with your UK university to see who their exchange partner universities are. Not all UK degrees will allow you to participate in an exchange so it is important to get in touch with the International Office at your university to check this at an early stage.

The advantage of an exchange programme is that you will continue to pay domestic fees to your UK university throughout your period of study at the overseas partner university – this means that you avoid paying international fees. The other advantage is that there will be an established cross-crediting arrangement in place so transferring the points or credit from the study you do overseas back to your UK degree should be straightforward.

The disadvantages of an exchange programme are that you are limited in your choice of overseas universities - you can only apply to universities which your UK university has formal relationships with. Exchange places may also be limited and therefore competitive. Generally speaking universities can only send as many students out on exchange as they receive in return - this means that although a UK university may advertise many exchange options it is possible that they may only have 2-10 places available for any given programme.

If you wish to participate in an exchange this will be arranged through your UK university.

Study Abroad

A Study Abroad period is when you apply to undertake study at an overseas university independent of your UK university. One of the main advantages of this option, over exchange, is that you are not restricted to the list of universities that your UK university has exchange agreements with – so have far more choice in terms of your destination. You will also usually be guaranteed a place, provided you meet the academic requirements of the overseas university.

One of the main disadvantages of this option is that you will have to pay tuition fees directly to the overseas institution. These are likely to be between £4,000 and £5,000 per semester. You will also be directly responsible for ensuring that your UK university recognises and credits the study that you do overseas back to your UK degree. It is important to involve your personal tutor in your plans  from  an early stage and make sure you know of any academic requirements they have of your time overseas BEFORE you go, rather than when you come back, to avoid unnecessary complications.

Study Abroad is organised independently of your UK university. You can either contact the university you wish to study at directly for information, or alternatively contact their UK representatives who will be able to assist you with the application process. 

University in Australia website